Worshipping Through Scripture – “In The Beginning”

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).  We are all familiar with the creation.  In Genesis 1, God created earth and everything in it starting from nothing.  With just one command, He created earth instantaneously.   He made the sun, the moon, the seas, the animals, and all mankind in six days.  He saw it all good and rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2).

The beginning of time is a great reminder on how we serve a big God.  He is the creator of the universe.  He created earth so we could have life and share it with Him.  There are an abundance of worship songs that portray the power of God through His creation.  Some of my favorite artists and bands have songs on God’s creation such as Skillet, Newsong, Chris Tomlin, Third Day, Hillsong, Michael W. Smith, Jimmy Needham, and Steven Curtis Chapman.  These are well-known, modern-day artists who have the ability to touch their fans through their lyrics.

Each artist and band have one thing in common: they all love to worship God and, through their music, bring others to Christ.  The band, Skillet, is known for their Christian rock style, and they have a song that I love called, “Stars”.  It talks about how God spoke the world into motion.  The first verse declares who God is by telling the “oceans where to start and where to end.”  The song in the second verse reminds us to put our trust in God, because He hold[s] the stars in place.”  These two verses come from Geneses 1 verses 1, 6-9, and 14.   As we read further into the lyrics, the artist references Jesus calming the raging sea (Psalm 89:9; Matthew 8:23-27) and the prodigal son (Luke 11-32).

Newsong, another popular contemporary music group sings a song called, “When God Made You.”  This song is sung at weddings and celebrations for finding your perfect match, your soulmate.  If we go back to Adam and Eve’s time in the Garden of Eden in Genesis, we will see that Eve was perfectly made for Adam.  God said that man should not be alone and that He would “make a helper suitable for [Adam]” (Genesis 2:18).  Eve was made to Adam’s perfection.  The writer of this song expressed the perfect love between two souls.  In the chorus, it states in awe, “I wonder what God was thinking when He created you.”  I can only imagine Adam being in awe of His wife that God specifically created just for Him.

Chris Tomlin is a well-known contemporary Christian artist who launched his music career nationally in 2001.  He covered a song written by Laura Story called, “Indescribable.”  The song declares who God is through His creation.  It proclaims that He is “indescribable, uncontainable…all powerful, untameable…incomparable, unchangeable” God.  These are powerful words about God that can transform our lives if we believe He is all those things.  The lyrics continue to proclaim who God is by declaring “You are amazing.”  This line repeats in the chorus several times and states that God’s creation reveals His majesty.  This song has powerful lyrics that draws us a mental picture of how majestic God is, and how we need to praise Him for who He is.

Steven Curtis Chapman, another contemporary Christian artist, is known for being a songwriter, record producer, actor, and author.  He is a talented artist who impacts the world with his music, acting career, and writings.  He wrote a song called, “All Things New” in 2004. It is about God’s creation, but Chapman goes further into Scripture describing how God made everything new (Isaiah 43:8; Revelation 21:5; Isaiah 65:17).  The lyrics states that we are redeemed (Job 19:25), transformed (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 2:20; 1 John 9), renewed (Isaiah 40:31; Ephesians 4:23), and restored (Psalm 51:10-12 through Jesus Christ, the son of God.  When we are living for God, He “make[s] all things new.”  This song tells us to forever worship our Creator, because we become a new person in Christ.

APPLICATION

The music we listen to impacts our lives for the good or the bad.  Positive uplifting music lifts our spirits as the negative sad music brings us down.  Can we only imagine how Christian music with Scripture in it transforms our lives?!  We sing praises to God and shout out His Name every time we sing a worship song.  It is the most precious time with the Lord when we are praising His Name through worship.  Worship is a form of prayer that is sung.  We celebrate God through worship.  We honor Him through worship.  We are loving on God through worship.  Let’s praise His Name for His Creation!

OTHER REFERENCES TO LOOK UP

Other songs to look up related to this topic “God’s Creation”:

  • “God of Wonders” by Third Day
  • “The Stand” by Hillsong, “Awesome God” by Michael W. Smith
  • “How Great Thou Art” by Jimmy Needham
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Worshipping through Scripture Series – Introduction to Worship

Worship is described as “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.”  Worship “is where life meets ultimate reality…A place where we sense Eternal Significance and realize that we were created to ‘live our lives to the full’…in the presence of the God who loves us more than we could ever imagine” (Author Unknown).  It is “an expression of our hearts toward God as shown through song and praise as we worship Him, we are drawn into His presence and experience His touch in our lives” (Author Unknown).  As you can see, worship has many different levels and each of us experience God differently through praise.

In the Bible, Psalm 150:6 declares that “everything that has breath praise the Lord.”  Psalm 95:6 invites us to “bow down in worship” toward God and “kneel before [Him as our] Lord [and] Maker.”  1 Chronicles 16:23-25 tells us to “sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim His salvation day after day….For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise…”  In the book of Psalm, David was known as a true worshipper.  He proclaimed in Psalm 103:1 to “praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His Holy Name.”  David praised God with everything he had — his soul, heart, and mind.  He would praise God “all day long” (Psalm 71:8).  David even praised God through the troubled times.  Psalm 143:6 states that David “spread [his] hands to [God]” and, in desperation, said “I thirst for You like a parched land.”  The Psalmist was always worshipping God, no matter what was going on in His life.  We can learn from David on the importance of worship and how to truly live it out in our lives.

Worship lyrics is not just words on a page we sing to; it is the Bible put into song form.  Many Christian artist have written hymns and worship music by using Scripture or stories in the Bible for their lyrics.  When we worship, we are singing the Bible out loud.  We are proclaiming the Word of God without even realizing it.  Think about it!–That is what worship is all about!  It is all about praising our God for who He is with every breath we take.  Worship is powerful and transforms our lives as long as we see it for what it really is.

In the next five blogs, I will be breaking down hymns and worship songs to further explain what worship means on a deeper level and how to live it out in our lives that will change the way we see music.  Worship can and will transform our lives the more we understand the songs we sing in church, in our home, and in our car.  I encourage all of us to be like David, and praise “God with all [our] heart, [our] soul, and [our] mind” (Matthew 22:37; Deuteronomy 6:5).

Women’s Insecurities – Week Five

As I bring this series to a close, I felt like it was appropriate to post a declaration instead of a lengthy blog.  It only seems appropriate after we talked about the causes of rejection and how to overcome it though Christ that we declare God’s power over our lives.  Remember that “rejection never has the final say.  Rejection may be a delay or distraction or even a devastation for a season.  But it’s never a final destination.  [We are] destined for a love that can’t ever be diminished, tarnished, shaken, or taken.  With You, Jesus, [we are] forever safe. [We are] forever accepted. [We are] forever held.  Completely loved and always invited in” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).

DECLARATION:  (Written by Lysa TerKeurst in her book, Uninvited)

Whatever rejection has stolen from you, I declare that the deepest desperation you’ve experienced will lead to God’s greatest revelation in your life.

I declare that the Lord will give you relief from your unbelief.

He will restore you, redeem you, and write His story–His glorious story onto the pages of your life.

It will happen.

Doubt and defeat have no place in the sacred sanctuary of your heart.

Bitterness, resentment, and anger have no place in a life as beautiful as yours.

PRAYER:  (Written by Lysa TerKeurst in her book, Uninvited)

From now on when misguided voices or the enemy himself tries to put you down with lies or pull you away from the truth or push you into anything that could derail your destiny, I pray that you will sense the mighty hands and heart of God…

  • Lift you up with truth.
  • Draw you close with His loving tenderness.
  • And shame Satan back to hell with His resurrecting power.

Women’s Insecurities – Week Four

In the last three weeks, we have talked about being honest with ourselves and explaining the common areas that women struggle with on a day-to-day basis.  We have also talked about self-rejection from our past as well as rejection from others.  This week we are focusing on how to deal with rejection and use it to better ourselves rather than allow it to bring us down.

Studies show that rejection affects the physical pathways in our brain (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  Rejection is a deep rooted issue that people face every day, and it stirs up our emotions to make us think negative about ourselves or to something.  It can be defined as not “just an emotional feeling, [but] a message that alters what you believe about yourself” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  Rejection has the power to change who we are as an individual.  It can change the way think about a situation.  It is a physical pain that reminds us of loss and feeling unwanted.  “Rejection can make [us] question [God’s] goodness” in our lives (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).

If we don’t want rejection to ruin our lives, we need to have a new perspective on how we handle rejection.  In the Spiritual realm, we can think of it as a blessing.  Lysa TerKeurst stated that “today’s disappointment is making room for tomorrow’s appointment” (Uninvited).  We do not always understand why God says no to our prayers or requests when we want it so badly, but we do not want to miss God’s opportunities by always remembering the disappointments of our past.  We never move past the disappointment if we always ask “why” questions rather than “what” questions.  “‘What’ questions increase our ability to become more self-aware, while ‘why’ questions only focus on things out of control (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  When we ask “why” we see what we lack rather than what is ahead of us.

So…”What’s a brokenhearted person to do?” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  How do we overcome rejection?  We “praise, seek, and look to God” for comfort.  We “experience, learn from, and draw near to God” in every situation (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  Rejection does not label us, and it is not a permanent condition.  It does not keep us from succeeding in our future; It just means we had a setback.  “If we give [rejection] the power to define us, it will haunt us long-term.  But if we only allow it enough power to refine us, the hurt will give way to healing” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  TerKeurst also states to “not let [rejection] destroy [us but to] use it in good ways to make [us] stronger” (Uninvited).  We need to use it to empower us to become better.  “Don’t let today’s reaction become tomorrow’s regret” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  What this statement is saying is do not allow your emotions to get in the way of wisdom.

Our past rejections do not have to define our future.  It is our choice to change rejection for the good.  Maybe God wanted you to take another path than the one you prayed about.  Maybe God allowed you to experience a hurtful situation so you could understand compassion towards others.  “The enemy loves to take our rejection and twist it into a raw, irrational fear that God really doesn’t have a good plan for us” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  Do not believe that lie, because “God is always at work” in our lives.  “He is a present, loving Father, aware of our deepest hurts and even our deeper needs” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).

Even if you don’t hear His voice, He is there!
Even though you don’t feel His touch, He is there!
Even if you lost your faith, He is there!

APPLICATION

Yes, rejection hurts, but we can overcome it through Jesus Christ.  We are all overcomers through Him.  We do not have to live in defeat by our own insecurities.  Rejection is only a temporary setback to make us stronger.  Our past hurts and failures do not have to hinder our future.  We get up, dust ourselves off, and walk towards Jesus.  Jesus is our Healer and our Comforter.  He is the One who guides us towards our future with confidence and self-worth.

I encourage all of us to remove the labels in our lives and let God redefine who we are through His promises and love.  We live in victory when we live for Christ!  Our success comes from Him.  It does not come from our past.  It does not come from the devil.  It only comes from God.

Life’s Crossroads

My Weekly Featured Blog: Life’s Crossroads written by Jay Colby.

(A thought provoking blog)
“Everyone faces some type of “crossroad” in their life. Facing a crossroad can be very overwhelming and can cause anxiety. One of the most complicated tasks any of us will face in life is the concept of making the right decision. Every few seconds we have the opportunity to change our lives, our family lives, our careers and our well-being. By having this seemingly great opportunity to affect our lives in many different aspects can seem very promising. On the other hand it can be an enormous weight on our shoulders, because our lives and our families can be forever changed based on the decisions we make when we face a crossroad.”

Jay Colby

Everyone faces some type of “crossroad” in their life. Facing a crossroad can be very overwhelming and can cause anxiety. One of the most complicated tasks any of us will face in life is the concept of making the right decision. Every few seconds we have the opportunity to change our lives, our family lives, our careers and our well-being. By having this seemingly great opportunity to affect our lives in many different aspects can seem very promising. On the other hand it can be an enormous weight on our shoulders, because our lives and our families can be forever changed based on the decisions we make when we face a crossroad.

The small decisions are simple. You may not even notice you are making them, for example if you’re hungry you might stop at a local fast-food restaurant to grab a bite to eat. This act is probably a…

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Women’s Insecurities – Week Three

We all face rejection in our day-to-day life.  Some are more deeply rooted than others, but all rejection hurts.  Rejection causes many insecurities that last within in us for years.  It causes trust issues with ourselves and others.  It causes us to overreact in situations when someone or something triggers our insecurities.  Lysa TerKeurst says it best in her book, Uninvited, by stating, “If we react with more emotion than is appropriate for an isolated incident, it’s probably not so isolated.  The escalated emotion of this situation is probably an indication of painful ties to the past.”

There is a character in the Bible who had deeply rooted issues that started with rejection.  David, even though he became the King of Israel, had insecurities by how his father treated him.  When David was young, he was rejected by his father by not being included in the most important day of their families lives.  While David was tending the sheep, a prophet named Samuel arrived at their home to anoint one of Jesse’s sons to be king.  Jesse had eight sons, including David.  Jesse presented seven sons to Samuel, but Samuel did not choose any of them.  Samuel asked if “these were all the sons [Jesse] had” and Jesse responded by saying, “there is still the youngest” which was referring to David (1 Samuel 16:11).  Immediately when Samuel saw David, he anointed him as the Lord said to do.  He “took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers” (1 Samuel 16:13).  This rejection continued to haunt David for many years to come.  We will see this in chapter 25 in 1 Samuel.

In chapter 25, David was rejected by Nabal and reacted irrationally over the situation.  David sent ten servants to Carmel to ask Nabal to prepare a meal in honor of his name (1 Samuel 25:5-8).  Nabal reacted by saying, “Who is this David?  Who is this son of Jesse?…Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered…and give it to men coming from who knows where?” (1 Samuel 25:10-11).  When the men told David what Nabal said, David threatened to kill Nabal and all the men in the household (1 Samuel 25:12-17).  David overreacted and was about to do something that would not only harm himself emotionally but kill innocent people.  His anger did not stem from this single incident alone.  Nabal reopened a wound from David’s childhood when his father rejected him from the family’s anointing (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  The grudge was so deep that David was willing to kill to make someone pay for his hurt.  Nabal’s wife saved her husband and household by preparing the meal for David and making him feel welcome.

David felt like he belonged for the first time since his father’s rejection.  His father “inflicted a mark on his heart that read, ‘you don’t belong'” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  David achieved remarkable things in his lifetime, but “no amount of outside achievement fixes inside hurts” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  “Those hurts have to be soothed by replacing the lies with truth” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  Nabal’s wife reassured David that he was important, valuable, and secure.  She asked him to forgive her husband of his actions and that he is secure in the Lord.  She reminded David about his achievements and success.

This is a powerful story of rejection turning into a place of belonging.  At some point in our lives, we can all relate to David’s insecurities.  His fear of never belonging.  David allowed his past to work against him.  When we hold onto our past hurts, it causes us to hold a grudge against someone or something.  We tend to overreact when a wound is reopened, and, as a result, we hurt others because of our insecurities.  “Let your past rejection experiences work for you instead of against you” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).

APPLICATION

What kind of rejections have you bottled up inside that continue to haunt you on a daily basis?  What causes you to react irrationally when someone or something triggers the insecurities in your life?  Rejection reminds us that we don’t belong.  It is a lie from the devil that tells us we are not good enough or smart enough.  The truth is, we belong to God.  We have always belonged to God, because He created us.  We are His children!  He is our Truth!

So…what do you need to hear today to belong?  Do you need to hear that you have worth? Or valued? Or Important? Or loved?  What is it?!  David almost killed innocent people because of past rejection.  Rejection is powerful and destructible.  It not only ruins our lives but those around us.  I pray you find time with God this week to ask for His healing touch on the things that have hurt you in the past or even current issues.  I pray you find your security in Christ and not of this world.  And, finally, I pray you let go of the hurtful situations that hinder you each and every day and surrender it to God.